President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Uvalde on Sunday to offer comfort to a community gripped by grief after a deadly mass shooting at an elementary school.
The shooting happened Tuesday at Robb Elementary School when an 18-year-old gunman walked in and opened fire with an AR-style rifle, claiming the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
The Bidens stopped in San Antonio briefly and were welcomed at Kelly Field by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg before boarding Marine One and heading to Uvalde. After they arrived, the pair was greeted by other community and religious leaders and met with victim’s families.
A few hours into the Biden visit, the Justice Department announced that it will review the law enforcement response to the shooting, which has already received pushback due to contradictory information from authorities.
To everyone impacted by the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: We grieve with you. We pray with you. We stand with you. And we’re committed to turning this pain into action. pic.twitter.com/TIYjdmfKVP— President Biden (@POTUS) May 29, 2022
Below are live updates of the Biden’s visit to Uvalde:
10:10 a.m. - Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive in San Antonio before departing for Uvalde
- The Bidens were greeted by Mayor Ron Nirenberg at Kelly Field as they exited Air Force One. The pair was then escorted out of the aircraft before boarding Marine One and heading to Uvalde.
10:30 a.m. - Light of the World Church Choir performs at memorial
- The Light of the World Church Choir in Uvalde performed at the memorial site for the 21 shooting victims. Many Uvalde residents and others from out-of-town gathered Sunday to honor the victims and their families.
11 a.m. - Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive in Uvalde
- The Bidens arrived in Uvalde and departed from Marine One before heading to Robb Elementary School, where an 18-year-old gunman opened fire and took the lives of 21 people on Tuesday.
- Mayor of Uvalde Don McLaughlin, Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Congressional District 23 Rep. Tony Gonzales and others were there to greet the Bidens at Garner Field.
11:08 a.m. - President’s motorcade passes through Uvalde, heads to Robb Elementary School
- Many lined the streets as the Biden motorcade made their way through the town of Uvalde, en route to Robb Elementary School. Some who lined the streets to see the motorcade held up signs, honoring the shooting victims.
11:18 a.m. - The Bidens visit memorial site, pay respects for Robb Elementary School shooting victims
- President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden laid a bouquet of white roses at the memorial site and visited each of the displays for the shooting victims at the site. The Bidens were also seen speaking with superintendent Hal Harrell and principal Mandy Gutierrez.
- Gov. Abbott visited the site as well and placed a bouquet of white roses. There was a mixed reaction from the crowd when Abbott arrived at the memorial.
11:50 a.m. - The Bidens attend Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
- Media coverage was not allowed inside during the Mass service at the church. The service is expected to conclude just after 1 p.m.
12:00 p.m. - San Antonio family shows support for Uvalde community
- A family of five from San Antonio visited Uvalde on Sunday to stand alongside the grief-stricken community in the aftermath of the elementary school massacre that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers. KSAT’s Steve Spriester learns more about what brought them to show their support.
12:30 p.m. 11-year-old who attended Robb Elementary School says ‘we need new rules’
- An 11-year-old Uvalde girl who lost a friend in the Robb Elementary School shooting said that unless stricter gun controls are passed, school shootings are “gonna happen again and again.” KSAT’s Steve Spriester has the story.
1:30 p.m. - Bidens leave Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, meet with shooting victims’ families
5:30 p.m. - The Bidens depart from Uvalde, San Antonio
The visit will come less than two weeks when the Bidens traveled to Buffalo on May 17 to mourn with grieving families who lost loved ones in a mass shooting at a supermarket. Ten people, all of them Black, were gunned down by a man who espoused the racist “replacement theory.”
Biden’s reaction to the shooting in Uvalde has been searing, as he refocuses his presidency on one of the greatest political challenges of his career — the long fight for gun control.
“Where’s the backbone, where’s the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby?” Biden said Wednesday as he called for Congress to pass new laws. ”When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”
But if Thursday is any indication, Republicans don’t plan to budge. An attempt by Democrats to respond to the two recent mass shootings failed in the Senate as Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened debate on difficult questions surrounding hate crimes and gun safety.